Skip to main content

Full text of "A captive missionary in Mendiland : the story of the Rev. C. H. Goodman's wonderful deliverance from death, and his strange experiences during the Sierra Leone rebellion"

See other formats










" Nevertheless, though I am sometime afraid : yet put I my trust in 
Thee." — Psalm lvi. 3. 

Mr. Goodman's favourite verse during his Captivity. 






THE Methodist Free Churches are deeply attached to their 
Missions, and treasure no names more gratefully than those 
of the men and women who have served " Christ and the 
Church " in other lands. On our " Roll of Honour " are inscribed 
the names of noble workers who have given their lives in this 
glorious endeavour ; and every Mission we hold, is sanctified to 
us, by the dust of our revered dead. Even Tikonko, though but a 
recent extension, will now be doubly precious to us, because its 
labours have been sealed with the blood of native martyrs. 

For the present, our Missions in the Mendi country are 
destroyed ; but there is no disposition on the part of our 
Churches, to abandon' to their heathenism, the people who have 
wrecked such an interesting work. As soon as the conditions 
justify our return, we have scattered flocks to gather, old points of 
vantage to re-occupy, and all the original reasons to urge us to 
carry the Gospel to the savage Mendies who, by their terrible 
deeds, have so clearly demonstrated their great need of it. 

Mr. Goodman is now in England, his medical attendant in 
Sierra Leone having ordered him home. When he arrived at 
Bonthe, on July 5th, his health was in such a precarious condition 
that this step was found imperative. Readers will be glad to hear 
that he is recovering from the serious effects of his captivity, and 
is visiting the Churches, and speaking to large and sympathetic 

Had circumstances permitted, it would have been better that 
Mr. Goodman himself should have prepared this record of his 
remarkable adventures ; for the author is painfully conscious that 
it is impossible for him to reproduce the charm that accompanies 
Mr. Goodman's "personal account." His own recital of his 
strange experiences, has everywhere impressed those who have 
been privileged to hear it, with his simple faith, his unselfish 

vi Introductory Note. 

devotion, his transparent sincerity, and the utter absence of 
bitterness towards those at whose hands he has suffered so 

Many are surprised that he should think of returning to Mendi- 
land ; but to himself, it appears the most natural thing that he 
should desire to build again, that, which under such tragic 
circumstances, has been broken down. 

Having had such close personal connection with the Tikonko 
Mission, it has been no easy task for me to record its destruction ; 
but the pain I have experienced, has been subdued by the hope 
and prayer, that in some way, the circulation of this account may 
contribute to the early restoration of the work. 


We are most grateful for the interest and indulgence with which 
this booklet has been received. The fact that a reprint is 
necessary so soon after its publication may be taken, not only as 
an evidence of the intense personal interest Mr. Goodman's story 
has awakened, but also as a sign of the revived missionary 
enthusiasm our Churches are experiencing. 

Want of space forbids an attempt to describe the course of 
recent events in Mendiland, but one point calls for remark, as a 
misunderstanding has arisen over a statement published by one of 
the religious journals to the effect that Tikonko was utterly 
destroyed, and " would never be rebuilt." This remark referred, 
not to the Mission — but to the walled town of Tikonko, destroyed 
by the Government troops. It may be found wise to locate the 
Stations differently, but the field is ours by too many ties to think 
for a moment of its being surrendered. 


The Manse, Birkenshaw, 
June, 1899. 


















2 5 


A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 



WE assume that every reader of this booklet will have some 
acquaintance with that interesting little patch of our 
West African territory called Sierra Leone; a colony 
which long bore the unpleasant sobriquet of " The White-man's 
Grave ; " but which, when the true historian arrives to enshrine 
it, will be found to possess a deeply romantic, as well as a 
sadly pathetic story. 

Mendiland lies behind the Sierra Leone Colony and forms 
the southern portion of the recently declared Protectorate. 
Reference to the accompanying map will show the location 
and area occupied by the Mendies. The Protectorate contains 
in all about 30,000 square miles of territory, of which quite 
10,000 belong to the people concerning whom we write. If a 
line is drawn from Rotufunk through Mongrey to Panguma it 
will roughly indicate the Northern border of the Mendi country, 
and all lying to the south is their land, with the exception of a 
narrow strip of the coast still in the occupation of the rapidly 
diminishing Sherbro tribe. The country is very fine, having 
several large rivers, and beyond the low border near the sea, 

IO A Captive Missionary, in Mendiland. 

rising into a grand panorama of hills. The upper elevations of 
this hill-country are still covered with virgin bush, while the 
lower slopes display considerable areas under crude cultivation. 
The flat, stony portions produce a rough grass, while the low- 
lands near the swamps are covered with rich forests of oil 

There are two ways by which Mendiland may be reached 
from Sierra Leone : by sailing down the Coast and landing at 
Bonthe, 120 miles south of Freetown, or by the overland route 
via Songo Town and Rotufunk. For the latter, the new railway 
is now available to Waterloo, the first twenty miles of the 
journey. The Mendi area is by far the most rich, fertile, and 
populous region in the whole hinterland. It has greatly 
developed during the past ten years, and when peace is fully 
restored, will show itself capable of still greater improvement. 
It has abundance of palm-oil, kernels, rubber, and other export 
produce, and a rapidly increasing population ready to welcome 
all kinds of English goods. 

The people are known to be warlike, cruel, and superstitious, 
and remained inaccessible long after the coast tribes had yielded 
to friendly overtures. Whatever corporate tribal life they may- 
have originally possessed has long been dissolved, and until the 
English occupation prevented, they were constantly engaged in 
sanguinary slave raids, and bloody inter-tribal wars. With 
one or two exceptions, their social and political institutions are 
of the crudest kind, and the bulk of the population slaves. In 
thought and life they are utterly degraded : their religion is a 
benighted fetichism, and with the practice of witchcraft, society 
is perfectly honeycombed. Their secret associations are 
engines of corruption — courts wherein the darkest counsels of 
heathenism are brought to wicked perfection. The Porro with 
its devilry for boys, the Bundu with its unclean training for 
girls, the Leopard Society, with its hideous cannibalism, and 
the Humoi with its witch-mystery and death ; with the excep- 


A Glimpse of Mendiland. 13 

tion of the " Leopard," these hold high rank among them, and 
embody the ruling ideas of a Mendi community. Physically 
they are a strong, muscular people ; but mentally and morally 
they are in aboriginal darkness. And yet it would be wrong 
to regard them as utterly hopeless — dark as they are, gleams of 
light sometimes appear ; and grossly depraved as they may be, 
we have often experienced at their hands an idyllic and patri- 
archal hospitality. 

It is practically certain that the slave raiders of those old and 
bitter days, which happily, can return no more, were responsible 
for first introducing the Mendies, and many other repre- 
sentatives of surrounding tribes, into Sierra Leone. When 
Freetown, the capital of the Colony, became the home for 
liberated slaves, the babel of a people speaking sixty different 
languages was a terrible proof of the wide and pitiless work of 
the inhuman Slavers, who promoted the involuntary exodus of 
so many defenceless Africans from their own tribal lands. 

At the present time the Mendi in Sierra Leone is " too well 
known to need introduction," and in connection with the recent 
rebellion has made himself so evil a name, and earned such a 
cruel distinction in the eyes of the Colonials, that it will take 
years to re-establish the sense of security which has been so 
tragically dissipated. Previous to the rising large numbers of 
Sierra Leone traders were settling in Mendiland, commerce 
was rapidly developing, missionary Societies were earnestly 
aggressive, proper government was being established, the drift 
of events tended to strengthen confidence, and there was 
scarcely a sign of the dark storm which has so suddenly burst. 
By swift, united, and relentless action the Mendies have risen, 
and swept back every sign of progress. Now, for a time, a 
gross heathenism is re-asserting itself; but it can only be 
for a limited period. The rising is already quelled, the 
rebellious chiefs are sending in their submission, the leaders 
are being punished, and before this can have passed through 

14 -A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

the press, a military column will have traversed and probably 
annexed the entire region now known as the Protectorate. 

We have no space to discuss the causes of this unhappy out- 
burst ; but whether it can be traced to the imposition of the 
hut-tax, native resentment at the abolition of slavery, or the 
general repugnance of heathenism for civilisation, it has 
resulted in a deep and painful calamity. The poor misguided 
people have torn up the very foundations of their own advance- 
ment. Sierra Leone has been plunged into deep mourning for 
scores of her sons and daughters who have perished in the 
raids — eight white missionaries and many native helpers have 
been cruelly murdered — while property to the value of many 
thousand pounds has been plundered and destroyed — and a 
flourishing land left desolate. 



MY first acquaintance with the Mendies occurred soon after 
my arrival in Sierra Leone, in 1887, and seeing our two 
Mendi stations at Senehu and Paitafu had just been 
destroyed by the Yonnie war, it was only natural that my 
thoughts should centre more readily in this than in any other 
tribe, and also that I should become deeply interested in the 
people and their country. This ultimately led, after the 
restoration of the above stations, to a prolonged tour in 
Mendiland in 1890, and this in its turn was followed in 1892 
by the establishment of the Mission at Tikonko in the heart of 
trie Mendi territory. 

It is a strange and most impressive experience to pass the 
bounds of civilisation and plunge into African darkness for 
the first time. Even the purest light one can carry flickers 
and threatens extinction in the heavy gloom of such an atmo- 
sphere, and the strongest mind recoils from the pressure of the 
many problems there presented. But when the soul has re- 
adjusted itself by a firm grip on God, and a true vision of the 
redemptive work before it, there is nothing in the whole 
darkened panorama of heathen life that can quench in the 
missionary's heart the strong hope of a brighter day. The 
aboriginal man becomes an absorbing study, and every open 
door to his being is sympathetically entered as an avenue for 

1 6 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

the regenerative exercise of those forces it is the missionary's 
sublime prerogative to represent. 

There is, however, to the true missionary, one thing of more 
impressive interest still — that is the time of heathen awakening. 
To have the sounds of the crudest barbarism salute one while 
the voices of modern civilisation still ring in one's ears — to 
stand like a solitary and helpless spectator by the banks of the 
great rushing tide of heathen life — to be translated by a brief 
journey into actual contact with the gross degradations of 
savage men, must necessarily impress the heart of the Christian 
messenger ; but it is not to be compared with the deep and 
intense emotion he feels when he sees the signs of departing 
night, and his vision is gladdened by the first light that heralds 
the dawn of a new day. No astronomer can feel more 
deeply, when his night-vigils are rewarded by the discovery of 
a new world, than the missionary does, when the dense 
shadows of heathenism creep back and benighted men emerge 
from the slough of centuries. That is the hour of his triumph : 
where others have seen only a slave, he has discovered a man ; 
where the materialist has seen only a brute, he has discovered 
a soul ; where cynicism has recognised only a barbarian, he has 
discovered an immortal ; and no joy on earth exceeds that 
experienced in such Divine work. 

We had every reason to hope that we were on the eve of 
such an awakening in our Mendi Mission. Many years of 
patient and prayerful toil had been ungrudgingly given, and we 
were not without signs of encouragement ; but before we could 
gather our harvest the storm burst, wrecking our hopes and 
scattering our work. The Mission was spread over a consider- 
able area (see Map) ; there being three residential centres for 
the missionaries, and a fourth in process of establishment. 
Paitafu, the oldest station, was in charge of a native Lay 
Agent, and a really interesting work was being carried on 
there and in the surrounding villages. These villages, or 

Heralding the New Day. 


"fakies" as they are called, are very numerous within a radius 
of twenty miles, and every one of them was supposed to be 
reached at least once a quarter. Mapophi, which took the 
place of Senehu after the war of 1887, is on the south bank of 
the Bompe river, and was also in charge of a native Lay Agent, 


whose chief work was to visit the quaint little towns of the 
river-side folk. His canoe was a familiar object on the river, 
as week-days and Sundays he was paddled about in his 
scattered and unhealthy diocese. 

1 8 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

When the time for extension arrived, we went into the 
"regions beyond" and opened a Mission at Tikonko, 120 miles 
farther inland. Everything promised brightly ; we secured 
land, arranged for temporary buildings, which the chief him- 
self assisted in erecting, instituted services, gathered a day- 
school, and threw heart and soul into the development of the 
new station. Great interest was awakened in our home 
churches ; Rev. C. H. Goodman was appointed to have charge 
of that work, aided by Mr. and Mrs. Vercoe and several native 
helpers. It was hoped to make Tikonko a bright, strong 
centre of religious influence in the Mendi country ; the bush 
was cleared for better buildings, and at great cost and after 
much toil, a house adapted for European residents was con- 
structed, as was also a suitable chapel for public services. 
Morning meetings were daily held, public worship was con- 
ducted at five different places on Sundays, surrounding towns 
were visited, and every effort made to influence the people. 
We had no properly qualified medical man, but there were 
so many calls for assistance that Mr. Goodman, who had a 
useful acquaintance with drugs, gave many hours a-week to the 
treatment of such patients as came, and to the impression 
made by his services he largely owes his spared life. 

It would be strange if all this Christian activity did not 
impress the people, and though at first they failed to under- 
stand it, many of them at last learned to trust the missionaries 
implicitly. The oppressed fled to the Mission for security, the 
sick were brought for medicine, the children were obtained as 
scholars, the Gospel was attentively heard, and a new atmo- 
sphere seemed to surround the place. The latest advance was 
the appointment of an agent to Panguma, some distance 
further inland ; but before he could arrive the rebellion had 
blocked the roads, and made travelling unsafe. 

At the time of the rising on 1st May, 1898, we had in the 
Mendi Mission 569 persons on our church roll, seventy-one 

Heralding tJie New Day. 19 

of whom were in full membership. In one terrible week the 
work of years was scattered, and such of our native converts 
as now remain in the country are " as sheep having no shep- 
herd." The Agents of the Paitafu and Mapophi Stations 
escaped with difficulty to Freetown — the former having wan- 
dered several days in the bush ; but every native worker at 
Tikonko was put to death, and in addition to this sad loss of 
life we have to lament the destruction of property valued at 
between ^3000 and ^4000. Yet dark as this calamity is, we 
have, in the wonderful deliverance of Mr. Goodman, and the 
wives of our native workers, profound reason for thankful- 



STANDING in front of the Tikonko Mission-house we 
could easily see, on a slight elevation across a narrow 
valley, the walls of the native town peeping through the 
dense bush. To the right, hidden in the deep obscurity of 
thickest foliage, the secret meetings of the " Humoi " were 
held, and the spot was over-shadowed by a giant cotton tree 
that lifted itself in majestic proportions high above its leafy 
companions. At a certain period of the year this tree, in 
common with its kind, presented a most striking appearance, 
being covered with beautiful bloom, which finally yielded huge 
pods of downy silk-cotton. We were standing outside the 
house one evening enjoying the rapid fall in the temperature, 
when a most imposing spectacle presented itself. As, the sun 
sank down to its rest, the whole western sky flared with a 
brilliant and angry red ; while in the east, on the low horizon, 
black clouds arched themselves up in a way that indicated 
a tornado. The gorgeous colour quickly faded out of the 
west, leaving a strong, grey after-light, while the cloud-masses 
in the east increased their ominous frown. We seemed just 
in the centre of a strange coming conflict between east 
and west; the contrast was uncanny; even the insects were 
hushed, and a deathlike stillness fell about us. This was 
disturbed by a gentle wind — then suddenly with a loud 
crash the hurricane burst, and the unrestrained fury of the 

The Blast of the Mendi War- Horn. 21 

tornado shook the place. Strong trees swayed like willows, 
large rain-drops fell heavily, and the thunder made the woods 
echo with its artillery; but the most memorable object was the 
silk-cotton tree that stood white-robed and lofty, like a guardian 
angel of the forest. The storm struck the tree as if determined 
to uproot it; it spent its maddest violence upon it — tearing 
blossoms, bursting silk-pods, and Shedding its whole fruitage in 
the whirling tempest. Then came a strange transformation — 
a sort of silken snow-storm ; and the air was filled with myriads 


of seeds floating on silken wings and driven by the furious 
storm. The tornado had smitten the tree and stripped it; 
but its fury served only to carry its seed to a wider planting. 
In the calm, the tree would have dropped its seed at its own 
roots; in the storm, it was carried to the distant river, and 
wafted to a home in forests remote. What was spectacle then 
is parable now : a cruel tempest has swept over the Mendi 
Mission, stripping it utterly ; yet this storm is as powerless to 

22 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

destroy the work, as the early persecutions were to uproot the 
Christian Church. The seed has been scattered; but only 
as bread cast upon the waters, to be gathered " after many 

The revolt did not originate with the Mendies, but when the 
word had passed to them from the Timanee war-camp, it 
spread through the land with the fury of a prairie fire. They 
were immediately carried away with a mad rage for blood and 
plunder, and ransacked the whole region for trading factories 
to destroy, or English-speaking people to kill. They succeeded 
in both, and have added a supremely sad chapter to Sierra 
Leone history. Port Lokko and Karene experienced the first 
shock, the Timanees under Bai Bureh offering a strong resist- 
ance to our Government troops. It was here the unfortunate 
Principal of Fourah Bay College, the Rev. W. J. Humphrey, 
was killed. He had just returned from a furlough at Canary, 
and was seeking to visit his co-workers (C.M.S.) in the 
disturbed district. He met his death while persisting in an 
attempt to pass through the native fighting lines. He was the 
first missionary to fall, but when his fate became known the 
havoc was swift and deadly. 

Travelling south the war-fever reached Rotufunk, where a 
splendid work was being done by American missionaries. 
Five of them — Rev. I. N. Cain, his wife, and three other ladies, 
were captured and brutally murdered, the place plundered and 
everything destroyed. This happened on the first days in 
May, and was only one of the many terrible evidences of a 
pre-concerted arrangement for the general conflagration ; the 
land became a veritable Gehenna — plunder, murder, and fire 
triumphed. The Shengey missionaries barely escaped with 
their lives; but Mr. and Mrs. M'Grew at Tiamma met a like 
cruel fate with their Rotufunk friends. The rebellion was now 
in full swing, and the country over-run with hordes of war-boys 
commissioned to "drive the English into the sea." Towns 

The Blast of the Mendi War- Horn. 23 

were burnt, factories plundered, and scores of defenceless 
people done to death. A few managed to flee, but their 
sufferings and exposure in the bush made escape itself an 

At Tikonko, after a certain period of disquiet, the out- 
look quickly became most grave. Friendly natives warned 
Mr. Goodman and his colleagues of what was coming ; indeed, 
the most extravagant and conflicting rumours were current; 
but when the gravity of the situation was fully apprehended 
escape was impossible. There were women and children to 
be cared for, and even had carriers been obtained, the little 
company would have been massacred ere they could have 
reached the shelter of the nearest military out-post. 

Meantime, the missionaries, now thoroughly conscious of 
their danger, were doing all they could to secure protection. 
Mr. Goodman, accompanied by Mr. Johnson, several times 
waited on Chief Sandy and his head-men, who confessed that 
demands had come from Bumpe that the Mission people 
should be given up to be killed; they also said that the 
Bumpe people were very angry with them for resisting their 
wishes, and had even threatened that if the white man 
(Goodman) was not delivered up, they would "pull their 
hands" from fighting against the English and come over and 
destroy Tikonko. Nothing satisfactory transpired from these 
interviews, and after each fruitless attempt, the missionaries 
returned home to commend themselves afresh to God, and 
prepare as best they could to meet the coming blast. 

Friday, April 28th, was a time of great excitement ; the 
crisis was ripening with alarming rapidity. Messengers were 
speeding through the land carrying sprays of charred bush — 
the signal to prepare for war ; parents came to entreat that the 
school-children might be allowed to come into the town ; friends 
begged the missionaries to go away; and later on, fear rose to 
a panic when a message was brought that Makkia, a noted 

24 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

warrior, was coming against Tikonko in the early hours of 
Saturday morning. The chiefs at once called a council, 
runners were dispatched to the fakies to assemble the 
tribesmen to repair the fences, and the greatest excitement 

The alarm proved a canard, being indeed only a ruse of the 
war-party to fan the war-spirit and excuse the repair of the 
stockades. They carried their point, however, for during 
Saturday and Sunday the trenches and the bush were alive 
with men fortifying the town. Once only did they falter, but 
they were soon persuaded to return to the task they had 

Musa, one of the sub-chiefs opposed to the war, came upon 
them in the midst of their activity. 

"What do you know about war?" asked the old man, 
indignantly ; " You are a lot of little boys" he added, con- 
temptuously, "and know nothing of the trouble you are buying 
for to-morrow ! " 

This was too much for the self-respect of the inflamed wall- 
builders ; they stopped their howling, threw down their tools, 
and retired grossly insulted. 

But it was only a brief respite ; soon the war-horns gave 
another blast; again the drums were beaten, the offended 
builders rallied, and the die was cast 



THE Bumpe Mendies occupied a strong town about 
twelve miles north of Tikonko, and were an in- 
dependent, notorious, and aggressive people. In 
addition to demanding that the Missionaries should be given 
up, they did everything they could to incite the Tikonkos to 
fall upon the Mission and plunder it — but, for a time at least, 
they did not prevail. 

On the Saturday evening, a big deputation from Tikonko 
came to wait on Mr. Goodman. The leading chiefs, Sandy, 
Musa, Alley and others, were accompanied by a numerous 
following of subordinates. As they passed Mr. Johnson's 
residence on the way to the new Mission-house, one of the 
party was heard to say, " We could come in any night from a 
fakie and set fire to this ! " 

These were the rulers and influential men of Tikonko, and 
upon their verdict the fate of the Mission would hang ! They 
filed into the piazza, but their looks were not assuring, and 
their manner was constrained. The burden of their plea was 
that the missionaries should leave the place — go away for 
some months and put the property into their charge. The 
Bumpe people were still threatening, and were getting so 
fierce that their coming could only be delayed a little longer. 

To this Mr. Goodman replied, as at previous interviews ; 
if they desired it, the missionaries were willing to go away, 


26 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

but it was impossible to do so without carriers. If the chiefs 
failed to provide the only means of escape, then they were 
bound by the provisions of their treaty to protect them while 
they remained. 

This was indeed, a true statement of the position, and was 
so far recognised as such, that Sandy, one of the pacific party 
interposed a speech on behalf of standing by the missionaries, 
recalling how they had lived among them for a long time, and 
were almost " as children born of their own mothers." The 
strength of the opposition was now evident, for this speech 
was received with strong dissent, some of the chiefs walked 
away, and the gathering broke up without solving the problem. 

The critical and dangerous position now became doubly 
painful, for it was too evident to justify even a lingering doubt, 
that the war-party would have its own way. There was no 
safety in flight — there was no security in Tikonko. A brave 
attempt was made to hold the usual services on the Sunday ; 
but the day was full of distractions. Late in the evening, 
Sandy came to report that the Bumpes were now on their 
way and had arrived at a neighbouring fakie. He persisted 
in his absurd entreaty that the missionaries should leave, 
though he still failed to provide a single carrier ! It puzzles 
one to decide whether the friendship of Sandy was impotent 
or insincere ; for while he seemed most anxious to get the 
missionaries away, he gave them no help whatever. 

That night the village on the other side of the road was 
deserted — the people taking refuge in the walled town 
Mr. Theo. Roberts and his wife (the industrial teachers) to- 
gether with the Mission girls, also retired to Tikonko. 
Mr. Pratt (the carpenter), sought shelter among the friendlies, 
and the town must have been full of refugees from the sur- 
rounding farms and fakies. The Johnsons spent some time 
in the town, but returned to their own house at midnight. 
There was no sleep on the Mission : Mr. Goodman, armed 

Approaching the Crisis. 27 

with his breech-loader, patrolled between the Mission-house 
and Mr. Johnson's residence — peril was near, but the time 
was not yet. The weary hours at last brought the dawn, and 
with the light of that fateful Monday the people again ventured 
forth from the shelter of the town, the deserted village was 
re-occupied, and a few people passed on to their farms. 


During the early morning, word was again brought that war 
was certainly approaching, and rapid preparations were made 
to face it. As early as possible Messrs. Goodman and Johnson 
determined to make another appeal to the chiefs. They first 

28 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

waited upon Alley, an old and influential man, but a reticent 
and somewhat difficult person to understand. Their suspicions 
were aroused by the excuse brought them in response to their 
request for an interview. 

" Daddy Alley is asleep." 

"We know what that means," said Mr. Johnson, as they 
passed with heavy hearts to Sandy's compound ; " he does not 
intend to see us." 

After some search Sandy and Musa were found together. 
They were quite willing to discuss the situation and professed 
that they personally had no desire for war ; but theirs was a 
very difficult position, as the majority of their co-chiefs were 
trying to force their hands, and the Bumpe people continued 

Mr. Goodman pointed out that Tikonko had nothing to 
fear from the English, as they had already paid part of the 
hut-tax ; and as for the Bumpes — had not Tikonko conquered 
them before? If the Bumpes brought the threatened war, 
would the chiefs allow the missionaries to come into the town 
and take their chance with the people of Tikonko? They 
had lived with them for a long time, and surely had some 
claim to consideration. They would not ask the impossible, 
but they were really entitled to such protection as they could 

But not a crumb of real help could our imperilled friends 
obtain. The chiefs were friendly, plausible, and talkative ; 
but no concession or sacrifice would they make. After a 
prolonged interview, Musa summed up their reply in the 
following characteristic parable. "There was once a Mendi- 
man who was supposed never to have told a lie. One day, 
certain of his friends determined they would try his truthful- 
ness. So they took an earthen pot that would hold what the 
Mendies call a 'bar' of palm-oil. Into this pot they first poured 
water, and over that they filled in oil to the brim. Then they 

Approaching the Crisis. 31 

called for the truthful man and asked him to say how much 
oil the vessel contained. This was his safe reply : If there is 
no water under it, the pot contains one bar of oil ; but if there 
is water in the pot, the oil will be less ! " 

"And," added Musa, giving his own interpretation, "we 
cannot say what we can do. We do not want to lie. ' If ' 
we can help you, we will; 'if we cannot, you will under- 
stand." With this unsatisfactory answer the missionaries had 
to be content. 

As the day wore on to noon, groups of Mendies were 
observed loitering about the Mission gates, and staring im- 
pertinently into the houses. The majority were strangers, and 
behaved in a most suspicious manner. Mr. Johnson drew 
Mr. Goodman's attention to the fact that they carried sticks, 
stones, &c, and were evidently intent on mischief. 

Word was sent to Sandy, who caused the men to be dis- 
persed; but they soon re-assembled, and it began to be 
whispered that Mafway had already been destroyed, many of 
its traders killed, and Mr. Allen (a Sierra Leonean, and a 
great friend to the missionaries), taken to Bumpe. To con- 
firm this disturbing news one of the loiterers boldly confessed 
that he had taken part in the loot. 

It was now clear what this gathering of strange men meant ; 
here was evidence of the gravest kind that the missionaries 
were nearing their own fate, whatever that might be ; and 
every report brought by friendlies confirmed the increasing 
gravity of the position. 



JUST before two o'clock there was a lull in the excitement, 
the fierce heat of the day apparently having led the crowds 
of strange men to withdraw themselves. Around the 
Mission all was comparatively quiet : a welcome respite after 
the strain and tension of the previous night. Having seen to 
the comfort of a sick man named Thompson, a trader from 
Ficondo, Mr. Goodman retired to his house hoping for a little 
rest. Meantime everything was done to prepare for an 
emergency. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts, together with Mr. Pratt 
and the school-children, had continued in Tikonko, and such 
portable things as could be taken were now being transferred 
to the town. Mr. Goodman, assisted by Boyma, a faithful 
school-boy, and also by Mr. Campbell, the teacher, had packed 
a couple of small boxes, and was almost ready to leave, while 
the Johnsons had previously dispatched part of their belongings. 

But the quiet was only the strange stillness that precedes the 
tornado. The men who had congregated about the Mission in 
the morning had disappeared only to perfect their plans, and 
wait for some fortuitous circumstance that might give apparent 
justification to their dastardly work. The "psychological 
moment " arrived sooner than the lurking cowards anticipated, 
and in a flash of time passion had burst its restraints, like a 
charge of dynamite touched by an electric spark. 

On the Tikonko side, the Mission land falls in a gentle slope 

The Raid on the Mission. 33 

to a muddy stream crossed by an irregular bridge ; beyond is 
the main road, shadowed by dense bush, and farther still, on 
an elevation, the walled town. In the portion of the war-fence 
overlooking this road is one of the barricaded doors, and this 
was the entrance used in passing to and from the Mission. It 
was near this entrance the war-boys struck their first blow, and 
having so done, immediately cast hesitation to the winds. 

The first desire of the missionaries had been to stand by the 
property and protect it; but when it was clearly manifest that 
this was no longer possible, they decided, as the only other 
course open to them, to intrust themselves to the doubtful 
protection of Tikonko. Mr. Goodman's boxes were now on 
the ground in front of the Mission-house, and the Johnsons, 
who had sent forward two children with their last packages, 
were locking up their house preparatory to following them. 

As the children neared the town, it was observed that a 
crowd of Mendies had swiftly collected, and before the entrance 
could be gained, they made a dash to possess themselves of 
what the children carried, and so the fray began. 

The fury and suddenness of the onslaught frightened the 
poor children, who ran screaming away. One did manage, for 
a time, to escape, but the other appears to have been secured, 
and the greedy captors were proceeding to divide the loot, 
when the noise alarmed the missionaries. Finding that the 
children had been molested, and their goods were being stolen, 
Mrs. Johnson, heedless of the danger, hurried to the place and 
fearlessly threw herself into the midst of the mllie, hoping to 
regain her possessions. Her courage and her entreaties were 
alike unavailing ; their opportunity had arrived, and the Mendies 
made a vicious attack upon her. During the fierce struggle 
which ensued Mr. Johnson rushed bravely to the rescue of his 
wife, but there could only be one issue to such a hopeless 
encounter. Outnumbered and unarmed, the Johnsons were 
soon overpowered, and at the mercy of the furious war-boys. 


34 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

It is a wonder they were not immediately killed ; they, however, 
suffered terribly. Mrs. Johnson's clothes were literally torn 
from her back, she was beaten most brutally, and the money 
she had endeavoured to hide, scattered all over the road. 
Mr. Johnson fared still worse, for someone having a sword 
dealt him a murderous slash across the face, from which he 
suffered agony; and they stripped him so roughly of his clothes 
as. to almost dislocate his shoulders. Bleeding and naked, 
they both made an effort to reach the town door, but just as 
they gained it, some heartless savage within shut it in their 
faces, and their story would probably have ended there but for 
a most opportune diversion. 

Hearing the tumult, but without quite understanding its 
seriousness, Mr. Goodman ran, gun in hand, accompanied by 
Mr. Campbell, as far as the bridge, from whence they could 
easily see that there had been a conflict. To their appearance 
at that critical moment the Johnsons owed their temporary 

"The white man !" "To the Mission!" "To the Mission!" 
The Mendies took up the cry unitedly : then with a mad yell 
they dashed down the bank, and tore wildly along the bridge 
to the point where Mr. Goodman was standing. Retiring to 
the rising land within the Mission palings, he stood commanding 
the crowded bridge with his gun, while the furious mob urged 
each other onward. He hesitated for a moment — there was a 
mental flash as to consequences — he lowered his gun and 
turned quickly in the direction of Boyma and the boxes. 

When Mr. Goodman elevated his gun to cover the advancing 
horde of ferocious natives, and bravely lowered it again without 
firing, he did what many in his circumstances would have 
found it impossible to do. He knew that that wave of 
infuriated men meant the sweeping away of his Mission — the 
destruction of the cherished work of years ; but when he 
refused to shoot, he was forgetting the agony of the present in 

The Raid on the Mission. 35 

the hope of the future. They might raid the Mission : but 
they could not uproot it ! It was a moment when thought 
sublimated into vision, and he said to himself, " If I kill a 
Tikonko mother's son, it .will be remembered against the Mission 
if I live to come back." He lives, and in all probability will go 
back. Who shall say what that forbearance shall count in the 
days to come ? 

Both himself and Mr. Campbell managed to reach the 
shelter of the bush, though at different points — after which 
they never met again. 

When Mr. Goodman arrived where Boyma was, he had 
already secreted one box, and was doing his best to drag the 
other to a place of security in the thick undergrowth. Plunging 
into the leafy protection, Mr. Goodman called the lad to follow 
him ; but being a Mendi, and so in no real danger of his life, 
he made a plucky effort to save the package. He was over- 
taken, however, by one of the raiders, and in the tussle which 
ensued the box was burst open and its contents scattered. 
Then Boyma too became a fugitive. 

The entire property was now in the unresisted possession of 
the war-boys, and they undertook the infamous pillage with 
howls of delight. The cloud had burst at last, and in a few 
hours the misguided natives had reduced the Tikonko Mission 
to ruins, and prepared a cruel fate for its missionaries. 



WHO shall describe the feelings of our friend as he crept 
into the tangled jungle to hide from the fury of the very 
people for whom he had so long daily hazarded his life ? 
No man could possibly have given himself more patiently and 
unselfishly to them than he had done, yet in their blind anger 
they had driven him to the danger and loneliness of the forest, 
and in their greed they were destroying and plundering all he 

He could hear the noise of the uproar as the crowd of in- 
vaders increased, and believing he might be pursued, he 
determined to make his way as quickly as possible to his native 
colleagues in the town. For this purpose he cautiously 
approached the Bumpe road that would lead him to the 
northern entrance, hoping thus to avoid detection. Keeping 
well under cover he had, without being observed, almost 
reached the war-fence, when he met two women and a man 
hurrying out with plunder. At his unexpected appearance 
they were seized with great fear, and turning in hot haste they 
re-entered the town. He followed closely at their heels, never 
dreaming what was about to happen. They had already passed 
through, and his foot was almost on the threshold, when, with 
a loud bang, the door was shut in his face. 

Perhaps not till then did he fully realise the utter calamity 
that had overtaken him and his friends. While there was the 

A Night of Strange Adventures. 


faintest chance that Tikonko would befriend them, there was 
ground to hope that the Mission would be saved ; but the din 
in the Mission-clearing showed what was happening there; 
Tikonko had shut him out ; and the whole surrounding country 
was hostile. 

There was God alone to trust in now ; and the bush wherein 
to hide. 


" I was ten years older," says Mr. Goodman, " with the clang 
of that door ! I could not help saying in the bitterness of my 
disappointment, ' This is the thanks for six years' service ! ' " 

Weary and disheartened he turned sadly back on the Bumpe 
road again. As he wandered on, not knowing what would 
happen or where to go, the excessive strain of the past night 
seemed suddenly to tell upon him, and it was with great effort 
that he finally reached a place of security. This he found in 

38 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

the Mission bush, and no very considerable distance behind 
the house. Covering his white helmet with leaves that it might 
not betray him, he sat cramped and hatless behind a tree, re- 
maining thus in prayer and anxiety for some hours. He was 
near enough to hear the talk of the war-boys, and the woods 
about him echoed with the sound of their axes as they chopped 
and slashed in the work of destruction. 

By-and-by the lengthening shadows told that day was dying, 
and the evening lightning began to play in the branches over- 
head. The voices could no longer be heard in the clearing, 
and the axes ceased to crash into the woodwork of the houses. 
Night was coming on and the marauders had gone home to 
dine off the missionary's tinned-goods, while he, poor fellow, 
crouched alone and hungry in the darkening forest. 

As soon as he deemed it safe, he determined to venture into 
the house hoping to find something that might allay his hunger. 
He had barely reached the out-buildings when he narrowly 
escaped running into the arms of a man who was coming out 
of the kitchen. Retreating again to the shadow of the bush he 
surveyed the pitiful wreck before him. It was distressing to 
behold the havoc : it was like a cruel nightmare from which he 
could not awake. The fine house he had left a few hours 
before had been hacked into ruins ; all the doors and windows 
had been cut out, the furniture carried away, and a confused 
litter of paper bestrewed the place. 

Approaching voices warned him to hide again, and between 
the rapid flashes of lightning he picked his way from tree to 
tree. It now darkened very fast, and it was evident that a 
tornado was near. Those who know what a tropical storm of 
this sort is, will pity the poor fugitive as he vainly shelters 
under the leafiest canopy he can find. Fiercer lightning came, 
quickly followed by terrific peals of thunder ; then the hissing 
wind and the downpour of rain. In a few seconds there was 
not a dry thread on his body, and his misery was complete. 

A Night of Strange Adventures. 39 

It did not take him long to recognise that a night in the 
bush in that condition would mean certain death from fever ; 
so he determined to make another effort to get into Tikonko. 
The worst they could do would be to kill him, but better that, 
than the fate that would certainly overtake him if he remained 
where he was. 

Making his way to the stream, now swollen and muddy, he 
waded painfully some distance up its course, then climbing 
the steep bank he made for a portion of the fence where there 
was an old breach. After groping in the dark for some time, 
to his great relief he found it, and a moment after was inside 
and making his way swiftly to Sandy's Compound. 

When Mr. Goodman dashed, gun in hand, into the midst of 
Sandy and his friends, he must have given them a terrible 
fright; they could not have evinced more consternation at 
an apparition — and some of them fled in terror. But his 
appeal to Sandy was reassuring, and his muddy plight could 
not fail to excite the sympathy of the chief to whom he had 
shown many kindnesses. He was passed to an inner room and 
told that since he had come in this way the best would be done 
to care for him. 

Boyma was soon on the spot, and in glad surprise doing all 
he could to attend to Mr. Goodman's wants. Using Sandy's 
authority and a little native guile, Boyma was soon able to regain 
both the boxes before referred to, and in a short time our 
friend was comfortably inside his warm dry clothes. The 
shelter of that mud hut was heaven compared to the inhospit- 
able bush — so he thanked God and took courage. 

His security, however, was doomed to be brief. Those who 
fled from his advent had spread the rumour that he was in 
the town, and as soon as the tornado was over the war- 
horns blared, and the alarm was given. More native guile 
was exercised also, for instead of boldly challenging Sandy 
to give up Mr. Goodman, a general message was sent round 

4<3 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

threatening the imposition of a severe penalty on anyone 
hiding the white man. Sandy came in great alarm and 
on his knees entreated Mr. Goodman to leave Tikonko 
again, promising to find him shelter in an adjoining town. 
No time was to be lost, so divesting himself of his boots, 
secreting his helmet, and enveloped in a large native cloth, 
he followed Sandy out into the night, hoping to pass as a 
sick woman. So complete was the disguise, that he went 
undiscovered through two groups of war-boys who did nothing 
worse than chaff a little at the way he crippled along. 

As he passed between his enemies his heart beat faster, 
and he held his breath ; but the war-boys 'never suspected that 
the feet about which they were joking were the stockinged-feet 
of the white man whom they sought. 



THE yell that the war-boys gave when they recognised 
Mr. Goodman and dashed down the bank toward the 
Mission, was the signal to Tikonko that the raid had 
commenced. There could be no mistaking that terrible cry 
as it swept onward in the direction of the Missionaries' houses, 
and at the sound of it, the town was almost emptied of its 
inhabitants. Those outside the walls had the start, but they 
were almost immediately joined by the crowds that had been 
waiting within for this fatal hour to strike. 

The Johnsons by the western door were almost trampled on 
as the fierce crowds rushed past them — Mendies with the light 
of hell in their eyes, and an awful greed written upon their 
faces. The rush, however, was fortunate for them, for it 
provided the opportunity for entering the town, that had been 
previously denied. As the door burst open the people poured 
out like water, and when the force of the current was spent, 
they dragged themselves painfully forward to a place of 

All that transpired during the following days can never be 
fully known, but such fragments as have come to us are pitiful 
in the extreme. People who had been quiet, friendly, and 
responsive, were suddenly possessed by an inhuman frenzy, 
and with a bound, heathenism seemed instantly to reassert 
itself. This was something more serious than the " hut-tax " 



A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

would account for; it was an attempt at revolution, an 
endeavour to hark back to the traditions and institutions of 
the old heathenism. The fact is, the " hut-tax " was only an 
incident in the new progress, and while it was made the 
immediate excuse for the rising, the true reason must be 
sought in the relentless antagonism with which the new order 
is resented. It is a dying heathenism offering a desperate 
resistance to the coming of progress and civilisation. If this 
had been simply and only a rebellion on the merits of the 

{School Teacher.) 

"hut-tax" there would be no sufficient reason, even in the 
native mind, for the violence and hatred implied in the 
murder of missionaries; but when it comes to the broad 
question of the irresistible doom overtaking the institutions of 
heathenism, then the dullest among them can see that the 
missionaries are at the " head and front " of the offenders, and 
also, that while the Government creates the law that destroys 
slavery, &c, the missionaries embody and express the great 

The Cruel Fate of the Native Workers. 


forces undermining the fetichism behind which the old 
heathenism entrenched itself. 

Of our own martyrs, Mr. Campbell was the first to suffer. 
He had been connected with the Mission from its commence- 
ment, beginning as a pupil-teacher, but latterly in entire 
charge of the school. We might have employed many a 
Sierra Leone lad with brighter talents, but it would have 
been difficult to secure one more faithfully attached to his 
work ; he was making good progress with the language, and his 
preaching was such that the Mendies could not fail to under- 


(In charge of Itinerating Work.) 

When he gained the bush in safety, instead of hiding in the 
vicinity of the town, he appears to have made an attempt to 
escape across country in the direction of Mattieu ; after long 
wandering, however, he was captured and taken to Bumpe. 
Here he met the cruel fate shared by so many others who had 
the misfortune to be taken there ; he was led to the riverside 
and brutally murdered the day following the raid. 

The Rev. J. C. Johnson, the native minister, was the next 


A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

victim. It will be a most difficult thing to supply the place his 
sad death has left vacant. He had charge of the Itineration 
and the out-stations. He was thoroughly conversant with the 
language and customs of the Mendies, having resided among 
them for many years. He and his wife narrowly escaped 
slaughter in 1887, when the Yonnies raided Senehu, where he 
was then a lay agent. He was promoted to the rank of 
minister after his appointment to Tikonko. 


{Industrial Teachers.) 

It was soon evident to the Johnsons that though they had 
obtained shelter in the town there was no such thing as 
security. Mr. Johnson was dreadfully disfigured, his nose 
having dropped off, but nothing could be done to alleviate 
his misery, so he suffered much from his cruel wound. After 
a while they were separated, he being confined in one house, 
and his wife and children in another. When she saw him 
again they were taking him away to his death. 

Hearing his voice in prayer she pressed her face against the 
door. He was surrounded by Tikonko men, who were tying 

The Cruel Fate of the Native Workers. 45 

him, and without a word of farewell he was hurried away. For 
a time a veil of mercy was drawn over what had happened ; 
but when suspense was ended, it gave place to the cruel 
knowledge that he was dead. They had taken him along the 
Bumpe road, killed him, and flung his unburied body on the 
Mission land. 

. _ 

• y -— F ~ — ____ 




I'OBa^* % ■p J. 

/ w 


• * 1 1 ' jf\ 



ip ~ 


Of Mr. Roberts, or " Theo " as we usually called him, I find 
it difficult to write. He was in the Freetown Mission House 
when I went in 1887, and one of the last things I did before 
leaving the Colony, was to marry him, from the same house, 
to Miss Sally Cole. He was a most lovable and faithful 

46 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

friend, and she in every way suitable as his helpmeet. They 
had charge of the industrial department. 

Under the protection of Musa, though hope was gone, they 
remained unmolested in Tikonko till Sunday, May 8th. 
Mr. Campbell had died on the Tuesday, Mr. Johnson on the 
Wednesday, and on Friday Mr. Goodman had been betrayed 
into the hands of the Bumpes. On the previous Sunday 
" Theo " had conducted service with the others in the town, 
to-day he was led out of it to die a martyr's death. He refused 
to eat, and spent his last hours in prayer for God's mercy on 
those who were about to murder him. When the war-boys 
surrounded his hiding-place he was brought out, tied, and led 
to the Mission. Close to his own house he met his sad fate, 
his body being afterwards cast into the well. 

Mr. Pratt, the carpenter, Mr. Thompson, the sick man, 
together with another Sierra Leone trader, were all dealt with 
in the same way. 

During this black week the people had swarmed about the 
Mission, plundering and destroying to their hearts' content. 
They were like vultures whose gorge could not be sated, and 
their unholy zeal continued while there was a solitary thing 
to steal. 

The men having now been all disposed of, only the women 
and children remained. Concerning the children there would 
be no difficulty; those who had no relatives in Tikonko 
would be distributed as slaves. The fate of the women was 
another matter. Should they be killed also and their 
silence ensured? Apparently this opinion was favoured, for 
Mrs. Roberts was actually led away with a rope round 
her neck and made to sit where her husband's blood had 
been shed, though she was afterwards taken back to town 
and a respite granted. When the case was fully gone into 
the three women, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Roberts, and a Mrs. 
George (who had only been at Tikonko a few days), were 

The Cruel Fate of the Native Workers. 47 

made to sit naked on a mat like slaves, while a decision was 
arrived at. 

Here a gleam of humanity appeared in the midst of what 
was otherwise so savage and pitiless. When nothing else 
would stay their hands, Mrs. Johnson's condition of approach- 
ing motherhood appealed to them, and someone was found to 
plead that the women should be spared. At this juncture a 
messenger arriving from Bumpe reported that the King had 
refused to put Mr. Goodman to death ; this news helped the 
decision, and the women were reprieved. Thus the black 
week that commenced with a triumph of heathenism ended in 
an act of humanity. 



FOLLOWING his guide with great difficulty over the 
rough road to Genda's town, a large section of which 
was Sandy's own property, Mr. Goodman was secretly 
housed under the cover of friendly darkness within the chief's 
compound. It was really the women's quarter, and all the 
safer from intrusion on that account. The place was guarded 
and the door secured after he had entered, but only with the 
object of preventing his being discovered. One woman was 
left to make a wood fire in the centre of the mud floor, and 
having performed her service in evident terror, gave a look of 
intense relief as she clambered through the window and re- 
joined her friends outside. 

He was now left alone till early morning, but it was only 
possible to obtain a very short sleep. Within the guarded hut 
he was comparatively safe, yet grief at the terrible calamity, 
and fear as to the fate of his co-workers kept his mind in a 
ferment of pain, and made anything like true rest out of the 
question. The same condition of intense excitement obtained 
among the Tikonkoites, for a sort of war council was convened 
quite near to his hiding-place. The incessant tramp of his 
enemies' feet shook the hut, and the hoarse shouts of the 
leaders haranguing the war-boys filled his ears. 

Gradually, however, the clamour subsided, and when the 
night was far spent, thoroughly wearied out, Mr. Goodman 

Befriended and Betrayed. 49 

fell asleep. Before daybreak he was roused by Sandy whose 
apprehension made another move necessary. He would not 
be safe in the hut during the day, he must hide again in the 
bush. So they led him into the dim morning, while the 
swamp-fog still hung in thick malarial wreaths, and they hid 
him in the tangled brushwood while it was yet damp and 
chill with the dews of night. Need we say it was a day of 
misery and suffering ? 

During the afternoon someone brought him a pineapple, 
his sole refreshment for the day, and late in the evening when 
it almost began to look as if they had abandoned him, he 
was fetched back again to Genda's town, and sheltered in the 
same house in which he had passed the previous night. 

From this time until Friday he remained in close confine- 
ment, seeing only those who were deputed by Sandy to wait 
upon him, and kept in entire ignorance of the tragedies being 
enacted on his beloved Mission. On this day there was a 
strange quiet observable about the place — it was still and 
deserted. He could not hear the women singing as they 
pounded the rice for the morning meal — indeed, they appeared 
to have entirely withdrawn from their own quarters. For 
some time, Mr. Goodman was left alone, but was roused at 
last by the presence of a messenger, who reported that " Sandy 
wished to see him." 

It was one of his own school-boys who had been cruelly 
forced to act the part of decoy, in order to lure the missionary 
from his place of shelter. 

" Where is Sandy ? " he asked, coming forward to the door. 

" There," replied the lad, vaguely waving his hand. 

" Wait till I put on my coat," said Mr. Goodman, beginning, 
from the constraint of the boy, to suspect something was 
wrong. When he returned to the door the frightened lad had 

The sudden blaze of sunlight after so many days in the 


50 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

dark house almost blinded him, and he scarcely saw where he 
was going as he stumbled out ; but coming upon another lad 
he asked where Sandy was. Obtaining no satisfactory reply, 
he turned towards a barray, a sort of open Court-house, when 
he found himself in the very midst of a number of strange 
men — they were the war-boys who were waiting for him, and 
he had at last been betrayed into their hands ! 

"There was one man among them," said Mr. Goodman in 
telling me the story, "whose expression is photographed on 
my mind. He had on a black worsted skull-cap and a white 
towel tied turban-fashion about his head. There was some- 
thing the matter with one of his eyes, which made the evil 
light that shone in them scarcely less than fiendish, as he 
literally flashed them upon me, with a sort of demon satis- 

With a howl of delight at the success of their ruse, our 
friend was immediately surrounded, and without further 
ceremony marched off in the direction of the old town with 
a brief and emphatic " Go Tikonko ! " 

Genda's town where he had been hiding, is quite close to 
Tikonko, so there was room for a faint hope that he would 
not now be taken beyond. That thought was doomed to 
swift dissipation ; when the company reached the eastern door 
and passed unhalting by, his hope faded away. 

With a gruff " Go Bumpe ! " he was hurried beyond the 
town entrance, round by the war-fence, and along the road he 
had previously taken when Tikonko had closed its door 
against him on the fateful day of the raid. 

Even now he hoped that some protest would be made 
against his being marched off in this fashion — but though 
several people turned out to look at him, not one uttered 
a sound on his behalf ; and for good or evil he was left to the 
mercy of his captors. 

It is impossible to resist the conclusion that this betrayal 

Befriended and Betrayed. 53 

was pre-arranged. The disappearance of the women, the ab- 
normal quiet, the schoolboy messenger, the absence of Sandy 
during the incident, and the failure of the Tikonkos' to protest 
against his being taken away, all point to one sad and con- 
vincing conclusion. 

Still, to do Sandy justice, we are bound to admit that he 
did much, under most difficult circumstances, to befriend and 
assist Mr. Goodman, and for this we are grateful; but when 
it is remembered that he was practically recognised as the 
leading chief, we do him no injustice when we say he could 
have frustrated this shameless betrayal of the man to whom 
he owed very much. Had he been a man of the force and 
character of the late Chief Macavoreh he would never have 
tolerated for a moment the thought of betraying Mr. Goodman 
into the hands of the Bumpe people. 

Crossing the stream near the devil-house, they passed close 
to the spot where poor Johnson's unburied body still lay in 
sad evidence of his cruel fate, and were soon on their way to 
Bumpe. The sun was high in the heaven, and the fierce 
tropical heat beat down into the narrow bush-path on the 
strange company with their white captive. Travelling was 
exceedingly trying to Mr. Goodman, for having been forced 
away without his helmet he had only a handkerchief to protect 
his head. They, however, allowed him to rest occasionally, 
and it was most refreshing when a turn in the road led into 
the forest and the deep shadows proved a shelter from the 
burning heat. 

Sometimes he stooped by the numerous streams they crossed, 
and cooled his fevered hands in the running water — a delicious 
but risky expedient. His captors were strangely mixed in 
their conduct. Occasionally they would shrink from him as 
if in awe; at other times they were brusque and decidedly 
rude, though without attempting to injure him. Becoming 
more familiar as the journey proceeded, they displayed great 

54 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

curiosity as to the contents of the white man's pockets, and 
had soon pursued their investigations so far as to relieve him 
of the necessity of carrying his own money ! At one place 
where they plunged perspiring into the cool stream, they were 
consumed with a desire to persuade him to join them in a 
bathe, evidently, as was afterwards demonstrated, for the 
purpose of possessing themselves of his clothes. One man 
in a burst of friendliness offered him his pipe — black, strong, 
and nasty, and urged him to smoke it ! While a halt was 
being made at one of the shady resting-places, Mr. Goodman 
observed a war-boy smelling something, which, on examination, 
turned out to be a tabloid of Zymine from his own medicine 

So the hours of this strange and memorable journey passed, 
and our friend drew near to the crisis of those thrilling 
experiences through which he has gone so calmly and so 
bravely, and also without bringing out of them a fragment of 
bitterness towards the people at whose hands he has suffered 
so much. 



WHEN they were within a mile-and-a-half of Bumpe the 
behaviour of his captors underwent a sudden and 
unpleasant change. On the way they had been humane 
— heathen if you will, yet humane in spite of that, and a certain 
kindness to their strange and patient captive they could not 
altogether repress ; but now they were nearing Bumpe, the city 
of Mendi braves, the stronghold of the war — avaunt kindness ! 
they were war-boys again ! 

Mr. Goodman was roughly told to sit down, and in a few 
minutes they had stripped him of everything except his under- 
vest and pants — dragging them from him "like skinning a 
rabbit," as he himself describes it. When he next heard of his 
watch a Mendi warrior was wearing it as a charm to resist the 
bullets of the English ! After they had divided his belongings 
among them, the march was resumed, though under very 
different conditions. It was a cruel and bitter pilgrimage along 
that stony, burning road, as he crept slowly with bruised and 
naked feet ; but it came at last to an end, and led, by God's 
mercy, to a very different issue from that, which, at first, there 
was every reason to expect. 

Someone had been sent before to proclaim the approach of 
the party, and when they reached the banks of the Tavey, on 
which Bumpe stood, the townspeople were already flocking to 
the waterside. The war-horns blared, and the news flashed 


56 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

from lip to lip, while the crowd poured out to witness the novel 
and unprecedented sight of a defenceless, and half-naked 
missionary, being marched in cruel triumph into their midst. 

They were ferried across the river in a canoe, and a halt was 
made in a fine cleared space outside the town. This was the 
place of judgment, and the fate of the captive would here be 
soon decided. Footsore and exhausted by the ordeal through 
which he had already passed, Mr. Goodman was permitted to 
seat himself on a fallen tree, and for a time was prey to the 
curious eyes of the crowd around him. 

Stinging though he was with the sense of this bitter humilia- 
tion, and fully realising his danger, he yet maintained a brave 
attitude, and gave himself to prayer. Cruel things had 
happened here at Bumpe during the past weeks, and he was 
himself now in the hands of those who were said to thirst for 
his life. Though he did not then know it, the bodies of Allen, 
his Mafway friend, and of Campbell, his school teacher, were 
rotting on the banks of the river not far from where he sat. 

By-and-by he was conscious that a pair of eyes were fastened 
on him, and looking up he saw a man standing over him whose 
face was convulsed with hate. The passion in the man's 
countenance gave intensity to his action ; there was no mistaking 
what his dramatic movements were designed to convey ; they 
plainly signified that the missionary would be put to death. 
He drew his finger across his throat, stretched his hands by 
his sides, stiffened his face and limbs, and closed his eyes ; 
then, waking out of his feigned death he confidently shouted, 
" A fuli gi ! " " This ! To-day ! " i.e., " To-day you die ! " 

This roused Mr. Goodman so thoroughly that he flashed 
back a look defiant with hope, bright with the assurance that 
there is a Deliverer of the defenceless. Mentally he 
answered the " A fuli gi " with " You do not know— you do not 
reckon upon God." It was a brave thought, and its faith was 
fully justified by what followed. 

Touching Hands with Death. 57 

But Gruburu the King has come, and the trial is com- 
mencing. Gruburu is seated on a chair; he suffers from 
paralysis, and has been brought to the spot astride the back of 
one of his carriers. Apparently there is no distinction to be 
made between the sexes — both being allowed to be present and 
take part in the " palaver " that is to decide the missionary's 

Gruburu's chair was placed over against the log whereon 
Mr. Goodman was seated, and an irregular circle was formed 
around him. Behind the King's chair was a large company of 
eager spectators, while on his right, on a slight elevation, were 
many of the older women, and nearer Mr. Goodman, also 
seated on a log, were a number of the sub-chiefs. Behind 
Mr. Goodman were his captors and other war-boys, some of 
whom could speak a little English ; and immediately in front 
were the clothes of which he had been so unceremoniously 

A great hush fell on the company when one of those who 
brought him stood forth to recite the story of his capture ; not 
a voice was heard but the speaker's own, and he told what he 
had to say in a manner that was, on the whole, sympathetically 
received. Still, inflammable matter was not wanting, and as 
the discussion proceeded, our friend had just one petition to 
God that he kept urging. It was that their councils might be 

While he was yet praying his petition was strikingly answered 
— it was literally " Ask and receive " — for an old man rose and, 
coming forward, entered a strong plea for his life. It was the 
speech of a heathen prophet, with a strange resemblance to the 
plea of Pilate's wife. He spoke with intense earnestness, and 
as his words flowed forth his bent form straightened, and his 
anxious face was inspired with a new light. While the clearing 
still rang with his strong voice murmurs of subdued approval 
escaped many lips. 

58 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

Meantime, while this was transpiring, a woman, separating 
herself from the crowd behind the King's seat, had come 
forward, halted in front of Mr. Goodman, and given him a 
most apprehensive and penetrating look. It was impossible 
for the moment to divine what it meant ; but when the captive 
looked again, the woman was lying prostrate before the King, 
clasping his feet and pleading with him in a voice of deep 

Presently, Gruburu was heard replying in a tone of concilia 
tion ; he was evidently promising to grant her request, and 
having gained her point, she rose from his feet, and seated 
herself near him, on his left. The King was now ready to give 
his decision, and every ear was strained to catch his words. 

With a quick intuition of what was coming, a wave of 
sympathy had passed over the entire assembly, and the King's 
carrier, who spoke English, prepared to translate the saving 
message to the man who was touching hands with death. Its 
reception must be imagined, for it cannot be described, even 
by our dear friend who passed through it all. So swift and 
utter was the reversal of the position that it was hardly possible 
to grasp the amazing truth. It was as if the radiant gates of 
life had suddenly opened where a moment earlier, cruel death 
had yawned to receive him, and in the rush of emotion and 
delirium of gratitude he could only sit dumb with a great 

" The King says you are his friend. You have come to this 
country to do good and to show the God-palaver. You are not a 
Government man ; you are not a trader ; you are not a kru-bah 
(soldier). He says you stand like our women who know 
nothing about war — you do not fight. You teach the children 
book ; you learn the young ones sense. You are kind to all 
women ; you " mend " people when they are sick. This is all 
good; there is no bad in it — you shall not be killed. You 
have been brought here ; you are in the King's hand ; be not 





Touching Hands with Death. 61 

afraid, you shall not die in this town. The King will care for 
you till the war is done. His word is finished." 

As the King ceased speaking, and the interpreter had said 
the last word, the Mendi Esther, who had pleaded for the life 
of the man who was not of her own people, gave a loud clap 
with her hands, and a moment later scores of other hands 
came together with a sound that made the forest echo with 
a hearty endorsement of the merciful judgment of Gruburu. 



THERE was one bold protest as the crowd dispersed ; it was 
the cut-throat man who loudly claimed that the white* 
man ought to die; but the defiant "Beva?" "Why?" of 
the woman who had pleaded so eloquently, was more than he 
could answer. 

By the King's command Mr. Goodman's clothes were 
restored to him, and there on the spot he was gently assisted 
to put them on. His waistcoat only was given to the leader of 
his captors, who cast an intensely envious look at the boots, on 
which he had set his vain heart. In his bitter disappointment, 
he, too, looked as if he thought the white man ought to die — 
then his possession of the boots would have been ensured ! 

After Gruburu had departed, the general feeling became even 
more marked, and many who could speak the Sierra Leone 
patois gathered round Mr. Goodman in token of the sympathy 
they could only imperfectly express. As the Mendi law then 
stood, everything English was proscribed, hated ; but when tne 
King had made so merciful an exception in refusing to take 
the life of this solitary "God-man" who could rebuke the 
lesser infringement of broken-English used to utter strong 
emotions that leapt " native from the heart " ? 

It was an intense relief to Mr. Goodman when he was led 
away by the person into whose charge he had been given, and 
found himself in the quiet of the meanest of mud huts. The 

Captivity. 63 

day had been one of terrible strain ; the cruel betrayal, the 
hatless journey in the burning sun, the half-naked entry into 
Bumpe, the peril of his strange trial, the wonderful deliverance ; 
and so deep was the impression they had made on brain and 
nerves, that his confused senses continued to re-enact the 
strange panorama far into the night. He was glad, even for 
the unmusical scream of the parrots, since their salutation to 
the grey of the morning foretold the approach of another day. 

During Saturday and Sunday several persons came stealthily 
to see him, and all in their separate ways tried to assure him of 
his" safety. " The King is a good man," said some ; " You will 
not die here," said others ; thus his heart was strengthened 
and hope made strong. At times, when the war-horns were 
blown, it was whispered that the case was coming up again ; 
but however much certain of them may have desired it, their 
wish was never gratified. 

His dwelling proved most dirty and uncomfortable; the 
broken roof let in the rain upon the rude device which did 
duty as a bed, and the damp thatch preventing the smoke of 
the wood-fire from escaping, made the night intolerable. He 
had to sleep (?) in his clothes and boots, while his only pillow 
was a piece of wood, till some compassionate person lent him 
a somewhat " odorous " gown. 

The promise of better quarters was followed on Monday by 
his being taken to Kotemawo, a pleasant town in the forest, an 
hour's walk from Bumpe. The chief, it was stated, knew 
English, and had good houses ; his reception, however, was 
the reverse of assuring ; the said chief flatly refusing the 
honour of entertaining him, unless he received the charge 
direct from the King himself. This necessitated a return to 
Bumpe on Wednesday, for the sake of this man who would 
not be satisfied with less than the King's own word — and the 
circumstances demanded that Mr. Goodman also should 
accompany his host-elect. 

64 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

The King received the captive very kindly, and with many 
assurances of protection, but there was never a word of his 
being liberated till the war ended. On the morrow he should 
return to Kotemawo and remain there in peace till the fighting 
was over. 

Most conflicting reports were now current in Bumpe, frag- 
ments of which our friend gathered from different sources ; but 
they were so contradictory that it was impossible to gauge with 
any certainty the facts behind them. They served, however, 
to keep the town in a ferment of excitement, and every 
prisoner anxious. He could not discover how many captives 
there were, but he saw and conversed with several. He was 
the only white person, indeed, he was the only European who 
fell into the hands of the rebels and was spared. 

He did not return to Katemawo as was promised; then, and 
throughout his captivity there was a most harassing uncertainty 
as to what would happen from day to day ; commands and 
counter-commands keeping heart and mind on the rack. The 
decision now was that he should keep as near as possible 
to the King ; Kemah, the King's favourite wife, and Kawgay, 
his carrier, showing the unfortunate missionary great kindness. 
When the war-boys were about, Kawgay was very careful to 
hide Mr. Goodman, saying significantly, "The King is only 
one ; don't let them see you ! " 

This entailed considerable confinement, but it was better 
than falling into the hands of his enemies, and he was not 
without evidence that they did not concur in the decision that 
spared him alive. One day the cut-throat man obtained access 
to his presence, and was evidently of the same mind still. Had 
he dared he would have done the captive an injury, but he 
had to content himself with impotent expressions of his rage. 
He glared fiercely, muttered imprecations, spat on the wall 
to imply his utter disgust, and marched off. 

Whenever it was thought safe, he was allowed to venture out 



for a little exercise, yet the discomfort and privations soon 
began to affect his health. The anxiety and strain he had 
gone through since the Mission was raided were enough in 
themselves to shake the health of a strong man; but in 
addition to these he was experiencing prolonged misery 
through circumstances which 
were inseparable from his 
captivity. He passed his days 
cooped up in a cold mud hut 


without a scrap of furniture ; he wore the same garments day 
and night for a considerable time, without the possibility of a 
change, or of even getting what he had washed; he was attacked 
with dysentery and had not a single medicine to alleviate his 


66 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

suffering, and this in an African rainy season, when life in the 
bush is a great hardship, even under most favourable con- 
ditions. The wonder is, that this is not the memoir of a man 
who succumbed, rather than a brief record of great suffering, 
nobly and uncomplainingly borne. To God be the praise ! 

Proper food was a very difficult problem ; there was often 
plenty of the coarse and sustaining country rice, but the cook- 
ing was not inviting, even when it came from the royal 

" Dey don kill goat, na dat you go eat dis net (night) " said 
Kawgay, cheerfully, in his imperfect English, hoping to gladden 
the sick captive ; but when the evening meal arrived, it con- 
sisted of a mysterious palm-oil gravy, that the server described 
as " Goat-belly soup I" Fruit was scarcely to be had, but one 
day a visitor brought him some mangoes, which proved of 
great value, for eating them with their skins, he experienced 
some abatement of his dysentery. 

Wednesday, 18th May, introduced a bright and cheering 
variation, for on that day he was visited by Vunju, a sub- 
chief, whom he immediately recognised, and from whom he 
afterwards received the greatest consideration and kindness. 
The meeting was very cordial on both sides, and a most 
refreshing influence it had upon the captive. Vunju gratefully 
recalled how he had visited the Tikonko Mission soon after 
the work started, and how, during an illness, Messrs. Goodman 
and Vercoe had given him medicine and nursed him. That 
kindness he carried in his heart till now, and would be glad to 
show it, doing all he could to help the missionary who had 
been so good to him five and a-half years before. He promised 
all assistance in his power, and to use his influence on 
Mr. Goodman's behalf. He gave him some leaves of tobacco 
to purchase anything he desired, he provided a mug for his 
use, and lent him clean garments — indeed, he spared no pains 
to alleviate the many discomforts of his position. 

Captivity, 6j 

• The true story of Vunju's life would be a strange and 
interesting romance. As a Mendi boy he had been brought 
under the influence of an American Missionary Society, which 
many years ago had stations on the Big Bum river. Being a 
bright, smart lad, and displaying educational aptitudes he was 
taken to America and trained, afterwards returning to his own 
country, baptised with the honourable name of that great 
American preacher, Henry Ward Beecher. There was a wide 
gulf between those old days and the present, but the memory 
of them could not have altogether faded from the mind of the 
man who sought out and ministered to the white missionary in 
his loneliness and trouble. 



WHEN Mr. Goodman had nearly reached the end of the 
third week of his captivity, the confidence and assertive- 
ness of the Mendies showed great abatement. Bragga- 
docio gave place to consternation, and the glowing pictures of 
Mendi victories dissolved into the route of the reputed in- 
vincibles. The English were no longer being driven into the 
sea— they had suddenly become an irresistible tornado before 
which the war-boys were carried like leaves of the forest. The 
Sierra Leone Government was now thoroughly awake to the 
situation, and at all points of the conflict, from Karene, to 
Sulima, the troops were in victorious pursuit of the rebels. 

During the afternoon of Friday, May 20th, swift runners 
brought the alarming news—" The English are coming ; the 
English are coming I" They had re-taken Mafway, and press- 
ing on had burnt Makoba, and would soon be at Bumpe. The 
message was received with blank dismay, and for the moment 
seemed to paralyse all hearts. Presently the war-horns were 
blown, and the chiefs-in-council decided upon a rapid exodus of 
all but the fighting men, who were immediately set to work to 
strengthen the stockades and fences. 

By four o'clock fear had increased to panic, and the exodus 

had become a stampede. The hurry, clamour, and confusion 

were indescribable, as the non-combatants rushed out of the 

doomed town carrying their chattels. This curious host of 


The Fall of Bumpe. 6g 

involuntary pilgrims bore cooking pots, bundles, zinc pails, 
calabashes, and tin boxes, containing the limited but treasured 
accessories of their heathen life. It was a strange company : 
the decrepid King astride the back of his faithful Kawgay, old 
men out of whose blood the war-fires had died, old women 
endowed with the energy of fear, naked children panting 
under the strain of heavy burdens, half-naked mothers, who in 
addition to their bundles, carried their little ones strapped to 
their backs, and in the midst of the queer caravan, C. H. 
Goodman, the captive missionary, having as his personal 
attendant " Henry Ward Beecher," the sub-religious convert of 
other days. 

It was a mortifying sensation to be a fugitive with such 
companions, he, an Englishman, fleeing in a Mendi panic, and 
from his own countrymen ! He had prayed and longed for the 
coming of those who might effect his rescue, yet, now, when 
they were at last approaching, he was being helplessly drifted 
beyond their reach. On they went for hours, far into the 
forest and the darkness of the night. It was a dreadful 
journey, and not until they were utterly exhausted did they 
reach the little fakie where it was proposed to stop. 
Thoroughly spent with the tramp, and for want of food, 
Mr. Goodman could hardly drag himself into a hut. 

But, distressing as it was, the situation was not entirely 
devoid of humour. When he crept into a hut he saw a woman 
sitting in the fire-light helping herself a la mode Mendi to some 
food in a bucket. Thought the famished man — " If she offers 
me, I must eat, even though she is dipping it up with her dirty 
hands." His looks perhaps betrayed him, for hospitality stirred 
the heart of my lady of the bucket, and fishing out a piece of 
beef, she tore it in two with her fingers, and held out one 
portion in a greasy hand towards the white man. His own thin 
hand met the greasy one, and he took the dole, smothered his 
qualms, and with a smile relished the beef ! 

yo A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

On the way too, a remark had been made that had so strong 
an undertone of assurance in its naivete that it suggested both 
laughter and tears. In the dense darkness he had stumbled so 
often, that Beecher proposed to go before holding one end of 
a stick, while Mr. Goodman followed gripping the other like a 
blind man. After a while he heard a voice in the darkness at 
the other end of the stick saying, " You will remember this when 
you write your book /" Bravo Beecher ! That saying of yours 
deserves to be cherished as a lesson in the fine art of 
encouragement ! 

From this date till the middle of June Mr. Goodman was 
detained in a small town near this fakie ; and dark were the 
days, and sad the experiences of the former portion of the time. 
He had a sharp return of dysentery which made him very ill, 
and day by day he grew thinner and weaker, and the conditions 
of his life less and less tolerable. Food was exceedingly scarce, 
and for such as there was he had no appetite ; the nights were 
sleepless and long, while the smoke of the fire intended to 
warm the house almost smothered him. The only bed was 
a flat elevation of mud about eight inches above the level of 
the floor, and that was infested with disgusting vermin. 

Sometimes it did seem as if the life so wonderfully spared at 
the trial, would ebb away in the filth and squalor of this Mendi 
hut, and it is not surprising that even hope itself was almost 
extinguished. One thing, however, was very cheering to the 
invalid ; it was the tender and unstinted devotion of Beecher, 
who gave the sick man his own country-cloth and slept un- 
covered on the floor beside him. 

Meantime the fortunes of war were altogether against the 
Mendies. True, the alarm concerning Bumpe had been 
premature ; but, on Sunday, May 29th, there were ample 
evidences that the soldiers had reached the Mano district to 
the north, and the smoke of Foya and Jagbema indicated with 
what result Now the tide of fugitives set in from the north, 

The Fall of Bumpe. Ji 

and for several days the little village was packed with people 
who herded together like driven cattle. It was a pitiable sight, 
and stranger still, some of them who discovered Mr. Goodman's 
presence and condition visited him to express their sympathy 
with a " Be na oi " ! 

On June 3rd, Gruburu, who had all the time remained in 
the village returned to Bumpe promising to send carriers next 
day for Mr. Goodman ; but unexpected difficulties delayed its 
fulfilment. Then too, the captive's illness turned to black- 
water fever, that most dangerous form of tropical disease, and 
his life trembled in the balance ; but here a most providential 
thing occurred. The King had thrice sent to Tikonko for 
Mr. Goodman's helmet, and when at last it was forwarded, 
Boyma, the lad before mentioned, thoughtfully sent with it a 
Bible, some capsules, and quinine. Nothing could have been 
more opportune — the medicine acted like magic, and the fever 
began to abate. 

On the morning of June 12th, the little town was disturbed 
quite early by sounds of an engagement, and as the noise came 
from the Bumpe direction, it was clear that the English were 
at last besieging that notorious stronghold. The interval since 
the premature alarm had been spent in perfecting its defences, 
manufacturing charms, and invoking the aid of witchcraft in its 
protection ; they now thought their stockades impregnable, and 
did not believe the English could cross the river guarded by 
their terrible fetich. But the sixty-strong detachment of the 
W. I. Reg., under a couple of white officers, soon destroyed 
their fatuous belief, and reduced their town to ruins. The 
besiegers had spent the night cooped up in a little farm-shelter, 
and stumbled against the Bumpe walls in the early morning 
after a very short march. 

The war-boys in the town offered a brave resistance, but it 
was utterly futile and after a short battle they fled by way of the 
river ; but the withering fire of the soldiers emptied the canoe 

72 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

several times before they abandoned that way of escape and 
hid in the bush. The detachment contented itself with 
burning the town, after which it retired again to the camp at 

During the battle great excitement was felt where Mr. 
Goodman was captive. Even at that distance it was easy to 
distinguish the difference between the work of trained men, 
and the replies of the war-boys. The simultaneous burst of 
musketry indicated the company-firing of disciplined fighters, 
while the irregular " pop-pop " of the defenders, showed how 
great was their disadvantage. 

For the greater part of the day, the village was almost empty, 
the folk having gone to an adjoining hill to watch the battle. 
Some of the captives even joined the spectators, and it cost 
one unfortunate fellow named Thomas his life. He had 
simply, with great want of thought, expressed himself as 
confident that the Mendies would suffer defeat — it was made a 
"palaver" and on the following Tuesday he was taken into the 
bush and murdered. 

When at last the curling smoke showed that Bumpe was burn- 
ing, and arriving fugitives told of utter defeat, the people's heart 
became like water ; it was hardly possible for them to realise 
the calamity. Bumpe was one of the oldest towns in the Mendi 
country ; its stout walls had resisted many foes ; its stockades 
they thought invincible; the defenders were the picked 
warriors of the land. 

But Bumpe had fallen ; the strong town on the banks of the 
Tavey was a heap of smoking ruins ; and a hundred evil deeds 
had been avenged. 



AFTER this crushing defeat, there was a short period of 
uncertainty; but on Friday, June 17th, the King sent 
word to inform Mr. Goodman that he wished to see 
him, and would send for him the following day. The bearer 
of the message was duly authenticated by bringing with him 
the King's staff — which in this case was a native whip. This 
curious and interesting custom is observed universally among 
the Mendies, each chief having some symbol by the production 
of which the messenger proves himself to be the bearer of 
royal commands. 

True to the King's word, the convoy arrived, and early next 
morning with a glad heart our friend said farewell to that 
place. The first portion of the journey was by water. 
When all was ready he was carried down the slippery bank of 
the stream in the strong arms of a native, placed in a canoe, 
and paddled away. At a convenient landing-place he was 
gently lifted out, and after being borne some distance through 
the bush, set down in a small clearing. He soon discovered, 
on looking around him, that he was in the presence of the 
King; it was a genuine pleasure and relief to see Gruburu 
again, and the King appeared just as delighted to see the 

The place to which he had now been brought was very 
small indeed, consisting only of about three huts, though there 


74 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

seemed sufficient people to require a dozen. One was a large 
square building, and the captive was allotted quarters therein, 
someone considerately rigging him up a bed of sticks and 
banana leaves. At night, however, he found that he was not 
by any means to occupy this spacious place alone. To make 
the house cosy, fires were lit, a luxury of which the Mendi is 
particularly fond during the rainy season ; then a hammock 
was suspended between the fires, a man rolled into it, who 
was soon fast asleep, in spite of the smoke. Near the walls 
there were three elevations, described in another part of this 
account as " mud beds " and these were occupied by no less 
than eight persons ; two men and a woman in the first, two 
men in the second, and two men and a woman in the third ! 
Nine natives and a white man sleeping in one room ! It was 
a veritable African " doss-house," and was a novel experience, 
even to him whose adventures had been so strange ! 

This over-populated fakie was really the King's hiding-place, 
and for several days Mr. Goodman here remained in close 
companionship with him. The chief men of the tribe knew 
where to find Gruburu when they wanted him, and messengers 
were constantly passing to and fro ; but what fighting was 
being done was still in the hands of his co-Chief, Berewa, 
a cruel man, who was largely responsible for the worst things 
that had happened. 

Evidences now began to manifest themselves that the 
people were getting thoroughly sick of the rebellion, and were 
recognising how impossible it was for them to maintain the 
defiant position they had assumed ; some even spoke bitterly 
against those who had led them into war. One day, the 
general feeling took definite shape, and a deputation waited 
upon Gruburu and begged him to send to Col. Cunningham, 
the officer in charge of the Government troops at Mafway, to 
stop the war. The King replied diplomatically in general 
terms of consent ; but he personally desired to approach the 

Deliverance and Home. 75 

Colonel with the air of an injured innocent, and ask for an 
explanation why Bumpe had been burnt ! 

Messengers were accordingly dispatched to fulfil this delicate 
bit of political diplomacy, and bring back reasons for the 
injury done to the " innocent " man hiding in the " doss house " 

But events had already transpired which prevented this 
"artful dodger" message from reaching its destination. On 
the way they were met by ambassadors from the Colonel 
himself, who were the bearers of a less ingenious, but more 
startling communication ; and Gruburu's envoys turned home 
again with those from the camp. 

Colonel Cunningham was now thoroughly established at 
Mafway, and was throwing himself with great energy and 
wisdom into the task of restoring law and order, obtaining the 
submission of rebellious chiefs, and securing the liberation of 
all surviving captives. Strange and pathetic scenes were daily 
witnessed in the military depot as women and children were 
brought in naked and famished from the places where they had 
suffered so cruelly. Hardly a Sierra Leone man had survived, 
and as the rescued women met within the camp they fell upon 
each other's necks with loud lamentations, in which the cries 
of fatherless children mingled. 

After enduring terrible experiences in their captivity, 
Mrs. Roberts, Mrs. George, together with Mrs. Johnson and 
her two children had all reached the camp and been delivered 
up in safety; and in returning these captives the Tikonko 
chiefs had decided to make their submission to the Govern- 
ment. Accordingly, Sandy and two others were chosen to 
convey this decision to Colonel Cunningham, and for this 
purpose they visited Mafway. When, however, Mrs. Roberts, 
who had previously reached the camp, saw them, she at once 
identified Sandy's two companions as the leaders of those who 
had murdered her husband, and they were placed under arrest. 

76 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

Sandy himself also underwent a severe examination which 
clearly elicited the part he had played in the raid on the 
Tikonko Mission, and subsequent events, and he was put into 
the guard-room as a prisoner with the understanding that he 
would be held as hostage for Mr. Goodman's safe return, and 
failing, that, he, Sandy, would be shot. It was a drastic 
measure, but that was what the circumstances demanded. 
The Colonel wrote the letter, but Sandy found the persons to 
carry it, and the messengers were on their way when met by 
those from Gruburu. 

When the bearers of this communication reached the King, 
the presence of Mr. Goodman gave a somewhat dramatic turn 
to the incident, for he was himself first called upon to read the 
letter demanding his own release. It was addressed to 
Gruburu and Berewa calling upon them to immediately sur- 
render themselves to the Colonel at Mafway, and to uncon- 
ditionally release the Rev. C. H. Goodman and all other 

The letter having been translated and another written, 
immediate preparations were made to send Mr. Goodman 
himself as the bearer of the King's reply, and in addition he 
was invested with plenary powers as an intercessor. As to 
Gruburu's surrender, he slyly pleaded that he was too infirm 
to undertake the journey ; Berewa was a warrior and strong, 
he was the man to go ! Let Berewa accompany Mr. Goodman ! 
But Berewa himself was too solicitous for his own safety to 
yield to such polite thoughtfulness except under military 
persuasion, so the Missionary Advocate had to undertake his 
errand without the countenance and support of the wily and 
cruel Berewa. 

The termination of his captivity could not but send a thrill 
of great joy through his heart ; but Mr. Goodman could hardly 
help "a lump" rising in his throat as he said "Good-bye" to 
Gruburu. Whatever part he may have played in the rebellion, 

Deliverance and Home. 


or however ruthlessly he may have taken the lives of others 
who had fallen into his hands, he had been remarkably 
considerate to our friend. His clemency had saved the 
missionary's life ; his appreciation of Mr. Goodman's work as 
described by the woman who clung to his feet, averted the 
fate that seemed so certain; and his kindness had softened 
the hardships of a painful captivity. 

Photo] ICoe, Norwich. 


{During kis previous visit to England.) 

Photo] [Rev. C. H. Buxton. 

{On kis return to England after the 

On his part, Gruburu himselt was not unmoved. His 
heart had gone out to his sick captive, the patient white man 
who had been so strangely thrust into his custody; and, 
without in the faintest degree perceiving the irony of his 
question, he asked when Mr. Goodman would come back 
again ! And the missionary with never a thought of the 

78 A Captive Missionary in Mendiland. 

bitter things he had suffered ; forgetful of the frail condition 
of his health, and praying only to be allowed to build again 
that which had been destroyed, answered : " If God wills, 
when the rains are over." 

It is a splendid tribute to the character of Mr. Goodman, 
as well as a favourable index to the possibilities of Gruburu, 
that with mutual respect the Christian Missionary and the 
heathen King said the farewell that terminated their singular 

Four days after that farewell, a strange procession approached 
the Mafway Camp. It was headed by a Mendi woman bearing 
a white flag, while behind her came native carriers carefully 
bearing on their heads a rough hammock wherein reclined, 
frail and shattered, the man whose sufferings are here so im- 
perfectly told. Two months before he had been ignominiously 
hurried half-naked to Bumpe to die; now they are tenderly 
bringing him back out of the jaws of death, out of the gates 
of hell. The whole camp is moved with deep emotion at his 
coming ; the Colonel and Dr. Berne hasten to give him a glad 
welcome on his return to liberty. Eight weeks only have 
passed since the Mission was raided ; but they have made the 
havoc of as many years in his wiry frame. It was hard to 
believe that the man they lifted out of the hammock was the 
Tikonko Missionary, indeed, even Mrs. Johnson did not 
recognise him at first, so greatly had he changed. His beard 
had grown and was streaked with grey ; his face was haggard 
and furrowed with suffering ; while his shrivelled body plainly 
showed his illness and severe privations. 

As soon as nursing and care had sufficiently strengthened 
him for the journey, he was removed to Bonthe, and as early 
as possible after, a message was flashed under the waters to 
those whose hearts were aching and praying in the homeland. 
When the news of Mr. Goodman's safety reached England, our 
Annual Assembly was in Session at Lincoln, and no one 

Deliverance and Home. 79 

present will ever forget the deep thrill of glad emotion that 
passed in thankfulness over every heart as the General 
Missionary Secretary read the cablegram : 


Strong men were moved to tears, and it was spontaneously 
felt that doxology and prayer gave true expression to hearts 
that overflowed with gratitude at the good news.